KILGORE FIRE DEPARTMENT SAFETY TIPS

Electrical Fires & Safety

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A weekly article that will offer information concerning the Kilgore Fire Department and provide safety tips for home and family.

Home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, nearly 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage. Electrical distribution systems are the third leading cause of home structure fires. Each year arcing faults are responsible for starting more than 28,000 home fires, killing and injuring hundreds of people, and causing over $700 million in property damage. Sixty-five percent of home deaths result from fires in homes with no working smoke detectors.

Electrical and Fire Safety Tips:

• Have your home electrical system thoroughly inspected by qualified electricians to ensure that all electrical work in the home meets the safety provisions in the NEC (National Electrical Code).

• Install smoke detectors on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area.

• Ask a qualified electrician if your home would benefit from AFCI (Arc-fault circuit interrupter) protection, especially during inspections of older homes or upgrades to electrical systems. These advanced new safety devices recognize dangerous conditions that are not detected by standard breakers.

• Test smoke detectors and AFCIs monthly to ensure they are working properly.

• Establish an evacuation plan that can be used in case of an emergency, and practice with your family.

• Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the light fixtures.

• In homes with small children, install tamper resistant receptacles to prevent electrical shocks and burns.

• Conduct a basic assessment of your home electrical system, electrical cords, extension cords, power plugs, and outlets.

• Look for tell-tale signs of electrical problems such as dim and flickering lights, unusual sizzling and buzzing sounds from your electrical system, insulation and circuit breakers that trip repeatedly. Contact a qualified electrician immediately.

• Use extension cords only temporarily and never with space heaters or air conditioners.

• Avoid overloading outlets. Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician as needed.

Next week will be another article on electrical safety.

Stay S.A.F.F.E.,

* Parts of this article were

reproduced from ESFi

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